Curtains: Letting in the World (Dear Cookie Monster)

Curtains: Letting in the World

I started this post quite a few days ago. 

I wrote it first on my computer and then transferred it here, but lost motivation since it was so long. I think not being able to write for so long without autocorrect and an actual keyboard just made everything come spilling out

Goal: keep future posts short so I can transfer them. I move on the 17th (10 days early!) and will soon have legit wifi for my computer. Excuse the typos in the meantime.

Dear Ana,

Good job getting back in touch with everyone. 

I know that was really hard and you are mortified. It’s a bit like slinking back with your tail between your legs, as well as slipping in through the back door and pretending like nothing happened despite your entire state of disarray begging to differ.

People are horrible, mean, unreliable, flakey, disappointing, annoying, clingy, stupid, and boring. But some people are also kind, generous, and supportive. They can surprise you when you least expect it.

I emailed a friend from treatment.

I had stopped talking to her (and everyone) because I wanted to pretend all that never happened. 

But now I’m just tired. And I miss her. And everyone

So I said, “Hi.” 

And she said, “HI!!!”

And it made me want to cry how much she wanted to talk to me because no one wants to talk to me that much.

All the people who are so snarky and dismissive and unkind – sometimes I wish they knew just an ounce of what I had gone through. 

But with her, she knows. She know everything (well, most things). There is no dance of trying to find out if I can tell her my secret, if she’s reliable and won’t tell, if she can handle it and won’t run away. If I even like her in the first place, if she’s a good person, if she’s the kind of person I want in my life.

We have been through so much together she’s like a sister. 

I just felt this ache reading her words. I didn’t realize how much I had missed her.

Missed someone who didn’t tell me how much catching up I had to do, how much improving I needed to undergo, how much giving up the unachievable I needed to accept.

She was just so happy for me to be exactly as I was.

She also surprised me with the most amazing news: she is back in school. Back in school! Pursing a life she wants, not a life she “should” accept.

Hearing about her success made my heart swell. 

Not just being thrilled for her, also for self-centered reasons. 

Everyone told me after “the Fall” that my dreams were too big, that I was pushing myself too hard, and that I was just trying to achieve great things to impress other people.

Well, my dreams aren’t really that big. 

I didn’t want to become an astronaut and go to Mars, I just wanted to go to graduate school. Maybe I was pushing myself a bit too hard, but that involved a bunch of things (including how I looked and how much people liked me) that I could care less about now – so much less pressure.

And as for just trying to impress other people – yes, I admit I care too much about what other people think. 

I feel that I have to justify my existence, that I need to be useful. I don’t like people looking down on me and bossing me around because that’s what my family has done my entire life.

I know even if I did go to grad school and everything worked out, people would still look down on me. 

It would be because I didn’t go to a good graduate school, I gave up and went the easy way, I am not good or smart or hard-working. 

I’m so tired of trying to impress people. I know I never will. I will probably never impress anyone again, if I ever did. I am meek, insecure, talk too quietly, brood, have mood swings, have skin that’s decided to look like a pizza since we left the hospital, and have gained a bunch of weight that will probably never come off now now that I don’t purge or do drugs to “take care” of it.

I am the least impressive person ever, according to my former standards.

But I’ve now realized that there is this base person that is worthy beneath all my external circumstances that does not change. 

When I was a high-achieving student, or when I was super “pretty,” or when I was in the hospital, or when I couldn’t get out of bed because I was so depressed, or when I (am) hiding on the other side of the world – in all these cases, I was/am the same underneath. That base value does not depend on anything but me being a person that exists.

I don’t really know how to communicate this. Just that I want and deserve and can achieve a better life for myself. 

That’s what my friend was saying. And she is the most deserving person I can think of for the kind of life she is building. She is so kind and good and pure-hearted. Picturing her in that life makes me so happy I could cry.

I tried to explain my situation to her and I just came off very depressed and scared. 

Which I am. Yes, bad things happened, but I shouldn’t be hiding. My friend went through so many things and yet she is still working hard to make things different.

I can do that, too. 

I don’t care if people say I can’t achieve great things because the stress will undo me or because I don’t have it in me. I don’t care if they say I don’t have the “archetype” to fulfill my dream job (screw that stupid new-age stuff). I don’t care if they cite an example of me at my lowest and use that to define who I am.

I just don’t care anymore. 

I can only care about so many things, and I’m just done with all that.

I want to have friends. I want to work hard. I want to smile

I can’t do that with all these worries in my head. 

If people are counting down the days until I fall and end up back in the hospital, let them count

It’s just like me waiting to see if I’m bipolar or if that psychotic episode was a one-time thing. I’m not going to put my life on pause until I get the answer. If it’s the latter, then I will have wasted my entire life in fear of something that was never going to happen.

If it’s the former, then I’ll have some good stories to tell. Just like the last time. 

It’s starting to become something that is a story rather than the present that I have to relive over and over again (at least some days)

That’s all for now, I just want you to remember that there are people all over the world who have been where you have been and have still gone on to do so many amazing things. 

The nay-sayers don’t know any of them. 

They see you as a singular case of insanity that can never become anything and just needs to live out her existence in an as stress-free environment as possible so she doesn’t relapse.

This is too long. Just remember who you are and the people who went through everything with you. Remember how you all were in the same place and where they are now. 

You don’t have to resign yourself to accepting other people’s doubts as your own.

Get up and join your fellow friends in recovery.

You can’t close the curtain on those who doubt you. They will always be able to see. But you can turn up the stage lights so bright that they don’t matter, you can’t see them, you can’t hear them. They are so far away that they almost don’t exist at all.

They can exist when they choose to join you on the stage and share the light. 

But if they stay in the shadows and mock, ridicule, doubt, and shame – then they have no place in your life.

Now I’m done for real. I just feel so strongly about all this and wish you could hang onto this feeling forever.

Go study and be amazing

(Well, not now. You were supposed to be asleep like 5 hours ago).


Twenty-Three and whoever else 


2 thoughts on “Curtains: Letting in the World

  1. Krissy says:

    This is beautiful, and very brave. Thank you for sharing this with everyone, and (this might not make much sense) but contained somethings I needed reminding of. Lots of love to you on your path

    Liked by 1 person

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